Third seed Caroline Wozniacki continued her title defense at the Australian Open with a thorough 6-1 6-3 win over Johanna Larsson in just 66 minutes. The Dane won her ninth straight match in Melbourne as she advanced to a blockbuster third-round clash with Maria Sharapova.
Wozniacki recovered from 0-30 in the opening game of the match to rattle off eight straight points, the last of those off of a forehand that sailed just long off of Larsson’s racket to give the defending champion a 2-0 lead. A love hold made it 3-0 and the set was soon slipping from the Swede’s grasp.
Larsson held after saving a break point to get on the board, but she wasn’t as fortunate in her next service game, saving two break points before double-faulting on the third to hand Wozniacki a 5-1 lead. Not known for a strong serve, the world number three held to love after the world number 77 slapped a backhand wide to take the opening set in 27 minutes.
Larsson did well to stave off three break points in the opening game of the second set to hold and had a half-chance at 30-30 before committing a pair of unforced errors to allow the Dane to hold. She was broken to love in her next service game after trying to be aggressive, but overhit a forehand volley, the third seed ahead 2-1.
Wozniacki continued her strong serving performance with consecutive love holds to claim a 4-3 edge. The longest game of the match came next when the defending champion gutted out a hold in a 16-point game, saving two break points to keep her edge and put herself a game away from victory.
Larsson served to stay in the match and battled hard to hold, but at match point, Wozniacki steered a backhand down the line for a winner to complete a fine performance to set up the 11th career meeting with Maria Sharapova.